VICTORIA, B.C. – An environmental assessment certificate has been issued by the Government of British Columbia for the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 in Delta, following federal approval earlier this year.
The decision to issue the certificate was made by B.C. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman and B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming after considering the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office’s (EAO) report on the project, a release said. The provincial certificate contains requirements for the project on matters that fall under provincial jurisdiction.
The ministers noted while the project is almost entirely on federal lands a decision not to issue a B.C. certificate could not prohibit the project from going forward and that issuing the certificate with provincial requirements “safeguards provincial interests,” the release said.
In their decision, the ministers considered the cumulative effects in the Fraser River along with work to advance reconciliation and support First Nations’ rights and stewardship aspirations in the area, concerns from the public about the expansion and economic benefits for the province.
The B.C. certificate has 16 legally enforceable conditions that the port authority must follow to avoid, minimize or offset the project’s potential adverse effects over its lifespan, including:
- A wetlands management plan to reduce negative impacts on wetlands and wetland functions;
- a land vegetation and wildlife management plan to reduce negative impacts on land-based plants and animals;
- a community feedback process for addressing questions and concerns from people in the region;
- environmental-management plans for both construction and operations to reduce noise and vibration and a plan for emergency response and spill prevention; and
- a greenhouse-gas reduction plan for emissions, including net-zero by 2050.
The EAO held a 30-day public comment period on its draft report in May and June as well as additional consultation with First Nations. Concerns in areas of provincial responsibility focused on adverse cumulative effects in the Fraser River estuary and Salish Sea, the release said.
The Roberts Bank Terminal 2 is a proposed three-berth marine container terminal that would expand the existing container facility in Delta and would involve widening the existing causeway to accommodate additional rail infrastructure, adding road connections and utilities and expanding the existing tug-boat basin.